The Mercedes-backed Williams driver, who was rumoured as a possible replacement for Bottas over the winter, was running in the top 10 at Imola when he attempted to overtake the Mercedes into Tamburello.
The pair came together, spearing both cars heavily into the wall. Russell immediately went over to confront Bottas, slapping the top of the Finn's helmet and receiving a middle finger in reply.
Explaining his view of the crash on Sky Sports F1 he said: "I was coming up on Valtteri, massively fast, I had slipstream, I had DRS and just as I pulled out, he jolted very slightly to the right.
"It is a tactical defence that drivers in the past used to do, sort of the Verstappen move of 2015. There is a gentleman's agreement that it is not what you do because it is very dangerous.
"In completely dry conditions, I would have been fine but it put me onto the wet patch and I lost it. An unfortunate incident but we are going at 200 miles per hour and you need to respect the speed and the conditions. One of those things."
On what was said in the immediate aftermath, Russell added: "I asked him if he was trying to kill us both."
Russell has not yet scored for Williams and was desperate to make the most of his opportunity, while Bottas, in contrast, had been struggling in the race and is not used to scrapping for points at the lower end of the top 10.
Russell added: "We were going incredibly fast, he knows the conditions. In his eyes, he is not fighting for anything. A P9 for him is nothing and for us, it is everything.
"I am making the move. The move would have been absolutely easy and he had no reason to jolt like that. It is a gentleman's agreement between the drivers because we have always said there would be a massive accident one day."
The incident could potentially spark a rivalry between the two drivers, with both seemingly in a position to drive for Mercedes from 2022 onwards.
Despite the flared emotions at the time of the incident, Russell insisted the pair would speak further down the line in order to clear the air.
"We are both grown men, we will have a conversation and talk about it, let the heat die down a bit," Russell added.
"I am sure he is as frustrated with me as I am with him. The faintest of movements at 200 miles per hour is a massive thing and it is not just the speed, it is the speed difference.
"I was probably going about 30 miles per hour quicker than him and about to overtake him. Perhaps if it was another driver, he wouldn't have done that."
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